We can see the aging process everywhere around us: our cars start to break down when they get old, our food becomes rotten and our mattresses begin to sag in all the wrong places.
It’s harder to see how the aging process takes place in ourselves; we see the same face when we look in the mirror everyday and all the miniscule changes are hard to spot. Even with ever-evolving technology and innovation, we haven’t worked out how to slow down or stop the aging process completely.
The aging process takes place daily and very, very slowly starts taking a toll on our skin until we notice the more dramatic signs of damage. The process first damages our DNA, proteins, enzymes and other properties in our skin. Then the damage presents itself physically in the form of wrinkles, loss of firmness, lack of a soft texture and even a change in our skin colour as the skin develops spots, an uneven tone and starts getting dull. These changes are the result of a loss of collagen, elastin, nutrients and the effectiveness of our immune system.
The aging process takes place in two ways: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging – and there is definitely something we can do about one of those!
Intrinsic aging is the “good” type of aging that we really can’t do anything about; it is hardwired genetically in our bodies from birth. It brings with it slow degeneration of our physical and mental capabilities and is often referred to as chronological aging.
The good news is that intrinsic aging accounts for roughly only 10 per cent of the whole aging process in our skin and shows itself in a strong manner at around the age of 60.
Extrinsic aging is caused by the environment and our lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking too much, spending too much time in the sun without proper sunscreen and basically not taking care of our skin. These extrinsic aging factors account for roughly 90 per cent of the entire aging process.
The good news is we can control extrinsic aging, and it isn’t that hard. All we need to do is apply some sunscreen to protect ourselves from UV rays, take up a healthier diet and quit drinking and smoking. While you’re making these positive changes to your lifestyle, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked by a skin practitioner to alleviate any concerns.